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Vantage Point

  • 2008-03-26
  • By Talis Saule Archdeacon

rewind: Same event different viewpoints -- maybe it should have been called Deja Vue. Oh, sorry, that's been used.

Director: Pete Travis

The trouble with "Vantage Point" is that the movie 's much like the terrorists it is about 's is constantly shooting itself in the foot. The film has plenty of strong points, but by the end it manages to turn each one of them into weaknesses.

"Vantage Point" takes place over a 23 minute long period of time in which terrorists play out a botched plot to kidnap the president. The same event is seen from a number of different viewpoints, each one unveiling another clue as to how things actually happened.
The president of the United States is giving a speech at a major anti-terrorism conference in Salamanca, Spain. Thousands of protesters and supporters take to the streets for the event, while rooftop snipers and undercover police officers keep a close watch on the crowd.

Just as the president is preparing to start his speech, two shots ring out. He falls to the ground as Secret Service agents scramble to secure the area. A bomb blast can be heard in the distance, and the crowd starts to surge in panic. A few minutes later, a second bomb blast destroys the podium where the president stood moments ago, killing everyone nearby (except the main characters, who are all unharmed).
The rest of the film reveals the inner workings of the unnecessarily complicated terrorist plot in the minutes immediately before and after the attacks. There is plenty of suspense as the audience strains to figure out what happened, but what starts out as an interesting approach to a whodunit eventually ends up as a confused, haphazard thriller.

There's good cinematography and a lot of energy from the actors, but every time things start to get  exciting the film rewinds.

The characters are all well done and there is a good amount of character development. There are flaws in the script which make it difficult to suspend your disbelief, however, like a television journalist who can't remember a plot to kill the president less than a year ago, or a secret service agent who tells his passenger to "just relax" while in the middle of a high speed chase.

The plot is intricate and interesting,  but some nasty plot holes, a overuse of flashbacks and a few too many happy coincidences  ruin it.

Now showing in Estonia. Opens April 4 in Latvia and Lithuania

 

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